Anton Vidal-Ferran

Institut Català d'Investigació Química

Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

Anton Vidal graduated in Chemical Engineering at the “Institut Químic de Sarrià” in 1987 and completed his PhD on the synthesis of new heterocycles at the same institution in 1992 with Prof. P. Victory. Throughout the two post-doctoral appointments that followed (at the University of Cambridge 1993-1994 with Prof. J.K.M. Sanders and the University of Barcelona 1995-1999 with Prof. M.A. Pericàs) he studied topical and diverse areas of chemistry such as Molecular Recognition, Supramolecular Chemistry and aspects of Enantioselective Catalysis. He had the opportunity to complement his academic background with the industrial experience gained during his tenure in a number of research departments at Bayer-AG (Leverkusen 1999 – 2003). Following the appointment as ICREA Research Professor (Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies) he started his independent research activities as a Group Leader at the ICIQ in September 2003.

Research interests

Our past and current objectives encompass the Design of Efficient Enantioselective Catalysts for Transformations of Interest, and the study of their use to prepare products with relevance in the life-science sector. We are working in an area of research in which cutting-edge chemistry combines concepts from supramolecular and physical organic chemistry with traditional approaches from enantioselective catalysis. Crucial aspects of this work include modular design of the catalysts; use of versatile synthetic procedures; incorporation of regulation mechanisms to optimize the geometry of the catalyst’s active-site; and computational study of their catalytic cycles (through collaborations).

Selected publications

- Carreras L, Serrano-Torné M, van Leeuwen PWNM & Vidal-Ferran A 2018, 'XBphos-Rh: A Halogen-bond Assembled Supramolecular Catalyst', Chem. Sci., 9, 15, 3644-3648.

- Llorente N, Fernández-Pérez H, Bauzà A, Frontera A & Vidal-Ferran A 2018, 'Ni-Catalysed Intramolecular [4+4]-Cycloadditions of Bis-dienes towards Eight-membered Fused Bicyclic Systems: A Combined Experimental and Computational Study', Cat. Sci. Technol., 8, 5251-5258.

- Fernández-Pérez H, Balakrishna B & Vidal-Ferran A 2018, 'Structural Investigations on Enantiopure P-OP Ligands: A High-Performing P-OP Ligand for Rhodium-Catalysed Hydrogenations', Eur. J. Org. Chem., 13, 1525-1532.

- Rodríguez-Seco C, Cabau L, Vidal-Ferran, A & Palomares E 2018, 'Advances in the Synthesis of Small Molecules as Hole Transport Materials for Lead Halide Perovskite Solar Cells', Acc. Chem. Res., 51, 869-880.

- Rodríguez-Seco C, Biswas S, Sharma GD, Vidal-Ferran A & Palomares E 2018, 'Benzothiadiazole Substituted Semiconductor Molecules for Organic Solar Cells: The Effect of the Solvent Annealing over the Thin Film Hole Mobility Values', J. Phys. Chem. C, 122, 13782-13789.

Selected research activities

Eight invited talks in international Conferences and University Departments. Selection:

  • Plenary lecture at the 22nd International Conference on Phosphorus Chemistry, “Efficient ligands for the stereoselective formation of C-H, C-B and C-C bonds”, Budapest, July 2018.
  • Speaker at the Chemistry Department of  of the Seoul National University, “Supramolecularly regulated catalysts”, April 2018.

Principal investigator on a collaborative project with COVESTRO AG on developing new catalysts for transformations of interest. Publication of one patent (WO 2018 210711 A1) and filing of another one (EP 18 164 463.4).

Evaluator of projects for national and international chemistry panels and reviewer of articles for a number of editorial boards (e.g., Springer Nature Publishing AG, ACS, Wiley, RSC).

Student promotion: Alba Martínez (Master; URV). Supervision of 7 PhD students.